City bag thief jailed for 52 weeks as police crackdown on crooks following 700 offences in a year


A man has been sentenced for stealing bags, bank cards and laptops from people in pubs in the City.

Fathi Hani, 26, of Market Lane, Shepherd’s Bush, London, was sentenced to 52 weeks in prison for theft at Westminster Magistrates Court on 10 February 2020.

Hani would target the City during the evening when pubs and bars were at their busiest. He would enter a premises, walk around and try to find bags left unattended, in a pile or on the floor next to the unwitting victim.

On Saturday 8 February, in less than an hour, he committed two offences – stealing a laptop bag, which contained a Dell laptop, and a ladies handbag, containing a purse, from the back of a chair – at two different establishments.

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Detective Constable Chris Perry, from the City of London Police, said: “As a force, we had over 700 bag thefts reported to us in 2019 and have already seen the trend continuing in 2020.

“Opportunistic thieves see the City as a lucrative target, thanks to its multitude of bars and pubs often frequented by people who will carry expensive laptops, phones and other pieces of tech with them.

“This is reflected in the fact the majority of bag thefts occur on Thursdays and Fridays, between 6pm and 11pm, when people are out for drinks after work.

“We would urge people to keep an eye on their belongings when they are out and about and keep them within reach at all times.

“It can be easy to think your belongings are safe under a table or under a chair, but in reality, a busy pub or bar is the perfect environment for a thief like Hani to go unnoticed.”

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